Rolling Out

Tasha Turner challenges the tobacco industry through awareness poem

Tasha Turner challenges the tobacco industry through awareness poem
Tasha Turner “Sixfootah The Poet” (Photo courtesy of the California Department of Public Health)

Tasha “Sixfootah ThePoet” Turner is a Bay Area native and poet who commands the attention of audiences with her stature and moves spirits with her insightful poetry. Inspired by the iconic Maya Angelou, Turner uses her flow to address uncomfortable topics, like the dangers of menthol and tobacco.

We spoke with Turner about an open letter poem she penned to the tobacco industry to stop promoting menthol cigarettes after losing her mother. 

Describe the beginning of your poetry journey.

It was an outlet as a kid. Seeing how Maya Angelou did what she did with her poetry became an easy way because I wasn’t a talker. I can write about it. It’s easier for me to write out my feelings than it is for me to talk them out. I started writing in fifth grade.

What inspired the nameSixfootah ThePoet”? 

I’m six feet tall. Growing up, I always was taller than everybody else and I hated it. My mother used to tell me when you become an adult, you’ll like your height. When I got older and started actually going to open mics, they used to introduce me as “Seven Footah,” because I was always taller than everybody. So I turned my pain and my anger into owning it. 

Click continue to watch Sixfootah’s powerful video, “What Menthol Cigarettes Took From Me” and learn more about her journey.

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